I try to take at least a few weeks off every year, mostly to heal up, though I’ve found that taking time off here and there is really good for the mental game.  I decided to take three weeks off this January after my last Rocktown trip and before the Energy Rock Gym comp…well…last Saturday was so nice, I broke my rest and climb at the New River Gorge with a bunch of my pals from the gym and from Fayetteville.

It was HOT. Which is weird for January.  The problem with the “hot” is that the rock is still cold which leads to condensing moisture.  Well, that didn’t really stop us, we just had to find rock that was exposed and in the sun – so…..Endless Wall baby!

David Statler – Idol Point Arete 5.12a Endless Wall

I only did three pitches, though all of them were 5.12.  I like those kind of days.

We warmed up on the uber classic Freekie Stylee (5.12a), then proceeded to a long term project of mine:  Idol Point Arete (5.12a).  Though by long term project, I mean that I tried it about ?8 years ago and lowered off the third bolt.

This route has historically intimidated the crap out of me.  In the Williams guidebook, he refers to it as something like an “airy” classic…and that IT IS!  When doing the crux, you’re really really far over your bolt…well not THAT far, but the bolt is under a bulge so you can’t even see your bolt.  The first crux (considered the crux by many) is basically a FULL SCALE GROVEL.  No feet, no hands, just grab the bad slab holds, hope your shoes stick and body drag campus!

David Statler actually found a hold to make the crux a cruiser though..I won’t spoil it for anyone, but there’s a big tick mark on it right now and I’ll be more than willing to give anyone the beta if they ask.

Well….I’ve been bouldering too much and though I managed to get through the crux on my second attempt on the route, I had not climbed the upper section of the route.   Wow.  What a freaking almost chuffer I had!  I got through the bulge crux (EASY with David’s hold beta) only to get SUPER PUMPED on the mid 11 or 11+ finish!!  It may not be that hard, but I was so pumped, I thought I was gonna do the mega whip of shame.  Thankfully, I managed to keep my cool, fight the pump and send the rig, but I was this (–) close to falling!

Its not often that I get to send a new route at the New River Gorge, let a lone Endless Wall, but I was happy and pleasantly surprise by the nature and excitingness of this route.  Wow – excitingness is actually a word….no spelling error red bar or anything!

Freekie Style 5.12a